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Officials: Don't Parent Orphaned Wildlife

"Despite good intentions, young wildlife taken into captivity can lose their natural instincts and ability to survive in the wild," said John Bowers, the Wildlife Resources Division's assistant chief of game management.

The air is clean, the trees are blooming and tiny baby animals are all around. However, the Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources encourages people to resist the urge of rescuing orphaned baby animals from the wild.

"Despite good intentions, young wildlife taken into captivity can lose their natural instincts and ability to survive in the wild," said John Bowers, Wildlife Resources Division's assistant chief of game management.

In most instances, young wildlife that appears to be helpless and alone is only temporarily separated from adults. This natural behavior is a critical survival mechanism, according to a news release from the Department of Natural Resources.

Unless you are licensed and trained in wildlife rehabilitation, do not attempt to care for wildlife, the department warns.

Additionally, Georgia law prohibits the possession of most wildlife without a permit.

If you encounter a seriously injured animal or an animal that clearly has been orphaned, contact a local licensed wildlife rehabilitator.  

Handling any wildlife could expose you and your pets to rabies, roundworms, lice, fleas, ticks, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness.

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